How To Fix Apple's FaceTime Fustercluck

Apple has released a software update that fixes a glitch that allowed users to listen to and watch other Face Time callers

Apple today rolled out a fix for a FaceTime bug that allowed callers to hear what people on the other line were saying before they answered the call. Needless to say, this was a big problem, so Apple initially just took the Group FaceTime feature offline while it worked behind the scenes to fix the bug.

The bug was first discovered on January 19 by a 14-year-old Arizona teenager. It mitigates what the company describes as a "logic issue [that] existed in the handling of Group FaceTime calls". While Apple had already addressed the issue on its servers, AppleInsider pointed out, iOS 12.1.4 fixes this exploit on devices.

Apple's bug bounty policy has led one security researcher to withhold details on a password-stealing vulnerability in the MacOS operating system.

Following the release of these patches, the system status page on Apple's website has also been updated to reflect the situation. While they were fixing the bug, they disabled Group FaceTime, so that the bug could not be abused.

Once a person started a FaceTime call with another iPhone user, they could swipe up from the bottom of the screen and tap on "Add Person" and type in their own phone number. We were able to independently verify the restoration of the Group FaceTime feature on devices running iOS 12.1.4.

Apple has not revealed the exact amount it is giving 14-year-old Grant Thompson but it is believed to include money to help pay for his education.

This happened for as long as the call was ringing, and ended when the call was rejected or timed out.

During the audit of FaceTime, Apple also discovered another bug in Live Photos that was related to FaceTime. The CVE-2019-7286 vulnerability is apparently a "memory corruption issue" that potentially allowed "an application to gain elevated privileges", with a different "memory corruption issue" referenced as CVE-2019-7287 as it opened the door for "an application to execute arbitrary code with kernel privileges". Also, it is recommended to back up your data, and ensuring your device has over 50 percent of charge or connected to a power source before beginning the update process.

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